Global Divestment Day starts tomorrow

Investment in fossil fuel resources may suffer a small hit due to publicity generated by the inaugural Global Divestment Day, starting on Friday 13 February at midday in Sydney and running for 24 hours.

The Australian divestment movement, pushed by 350.org, has experienced a groundswell of support since its inception 18 months ago, with $400 million worth of loans shifted from the big four banks to financial institutions without fossil fuel investments.

350.org campaign director Charlie Wood said nearly 200 organisations, local governments and individuals representing $50 billion in assets had pledged to divest from fossil fuels.

Various universities have been implicated in the divestment movement, including Sydney University recently.

USYD announced this week it would work towards reducing the carbon footprint of its listed share portfolio over the next three years, however this did not include a wholesale exit from fossil fuels.

“The decision follows a comprehensive review taking into account leading practice on sensitive investments, and the current global views and actions surrounding fossil fuel investments,” the University said in an official announcement.

The review included examining whether it should divest entirely from the fossil fuels industry.

Anti-divestment groups also touted the divestment by ANU last year as a success for their cause, however the choice of companies was based on ratings by ethical investment consultants CAER rather than any focus on fossil fuels.

Australian Mining contacted the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) for comment.

Image: flickr

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